With the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards just days away, we are nearly one year away from twerk seen around the world. During a night filled with show-stopping performances, it was Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke — not Lady Gaga or the *N SYNC reunion — that stole the night.
“Madonna’s done it. Britney’s done it. Every VMA performance, anyone that performs, that’s what you’re looking for — you’re wanting to make history. Me and Robin the whole time said, ‘You know we’re about to make history right now,’ ” Cyrus told MTV just days after the show. With her tongue hanging out, she did just that. That evening, she became the most tweeted about person and set a new record at the time for most views of Vevo for “Wrecking Ball” in a 24-hour period.
So what exactly happened during and after the VMA performance? We break down Cyrus’ historic show by the numbers.
$39.99 to Buy a Twerkin’ Teddy Halloween Costume
With Halloween just two months after the performance, there was no question that Cyrus’ outfit would be seen at every costume party. For female partygoers that wanted the full effect could buy a party foam finger for $8.99 or even get a man to dress up in Thicke’s Beetlejuice-inspired suit. (Paris Hilton even wore Cyrus’ teddy but we assume her outfit cost a lot more.)
150+ Complaints Filed to the FCC
A number of viewers felt traumatized enough by Cyrus’ performance that they sent in formal complaints to the Federal Communications Commission. “She was crude, pornographic, and absolutely shameful. Had I wanted my family to see a hooker perform a live sex show, I would have taken her to Tijuana,” one upset parent wrote. She “humped him like a bitch in heat.”
530 Copies of Robin Thicke’s Paula Sold In First Week
The performance turned out to be the first crack in Thicke’s successful summer. In the months that followed, Thicke and his wife Paula Patton split after allegations that he cheated on her. And his follow up record, Paula, was not well received. Only 530 copies of the record were sold in the first week in the UK making it one of the worst debuts in history.
90,000 Copies of “Wrecking Ball” Sold In 2 Days
“Wrecking Ball,” the follow up single to “We Can’t Stop,” premiered on iTunes as a pre-sale the night before the VMAs. In less than two days, Cyrus sold up to 90,000 copies of her power pop ballad.
100,000 New Instagram Followers
According to Forbes, Cyrus found a legion of new fans on social media with 100,000 new followers on Instagram and 50,000 additional likes on Facebook.
191,399 Notes on Tumblr
We can only imagine what Billy Ray Cyrus thought of his daughter’s performance but at least one Tumblr user captured the scene perfectly with one of the most noted posts to come out of that evening.
306,000 Tweets Per Minute
At one point in the evening, Cyrus generated so much chatter on Twitter that received over 300,000 mentions per minute. The record was second to the 2012 presidential election, which generated over 320,000 tweets per minute.
10.1 Million People Watched the VMAs
Over 10 million people tuned in to watch the 2013 VMAs, an increase of 60 percent over the previous year’s awards show. An additional 2.8 million people watched the rerun of the telecast, no doubt to catch Cyrus’ headline-making performance.
19.3 Million Views of “Wrecking Ball” In 24 Hours
When the music video for “Wrecking Ball” finally premiered on Sept. 09, it set a new record for the most views in a 24-hour period. The video currently has over 696 million views.
26.5 Million People Interacted on Facebook
The much talked about performance garnered a lot of chatter on Facebook. According to Mashable, 9 million unique users generated over 26.5 million comments, likes and posts following Cyrus’ twerk.